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General Laws

Section 199. (a) In addition to its other rule making powers, the board may develop and adopt such rules of professional competence and conduct as may be instrumental in fixing and maintaining high standards of integrity and dignity in the hearing instrument specialist profession.

(b) The board may revoke or suspend a license granted to an individual as a hearing instrument specialist under section 197 and refuse to renew a license or may censure the holder of any such certificate of registration for any one or any combination of the following causes or may impose penalties as stated in section 200 if such individual:

(1) makes a misrepresentation for the purpose of obtaining a license or renewing a license, including falsification of the continuing education requirement;

(2) has violated any provision of the laws of the commonwealth relating to the practice of dispensing hearing instruments or a rule or regulation adopted thereunder;

(3) has made any material misstatement of fact or has omitted any material fact which is misleading in the application for registration or on a written or oral communication to the board concerning the issuance or retention of a registration;

(4) has been convicted of a crime which directly relates to the practice of dispensing hearing aids, including violations of any federal laws or regulations regarding hearing aids;

(5) has demonstrated gross incompetence in the fitting of hearing aids;

(6) engages in unethical conduct in dispensing hearing aids; provided, however, that unethical conduct shall include, but not be limited to:

(i) using, causing or promoting the use of language in any advertising manner, promotional literature, testimony, guarantee, warranty, label, brand, insignia or other representation, however disseminated or published, which is fraudulent, false, misleading or deceptive in form or content;

(ii) knowingly employing, directly or indirectly, a suspended or nonregistered hearing instrument specialist or apprentice to dispense hearing aids;

(iii) repeatedly failing, refusing to honor or refusing to perform as represented a representation, promise, agreement or warranty in connection with the promotion, sale, dispensing, repair or fitting of hearing aids;

(iv) advertising a particular model, type or kind of hearing aid or sale which purchasers or prospective purchasers responding to the advertisement cannot purchase or are dissuaded from purchasing where it is established that the purpose of the advertisement is to obtain prospects for the sale of a different model, type or kind than is advertised;

(v) falsifying hearing test or evaluation results;

(vi) falsely representing that the services or advice of a physician or audiologist shall be used or made available in the selection, fitting, adjustment, maintenance or repair of hearing aids or using the words “doctor”, “audiologist”, “clinic”, “clinical”, “medical”, “audiologic” or other term or title which may connote or imply the availability of professional services when such use is not accurate;

(vii) permitting another to use his registration;

(viii) engaging in conduct which constitutes a conflict of interest, including accepting or paying a client referral fee or other consideration or directing or limiting a client’s choice of product other than as necessary based on the results of audiological or hearing tests or hearing aid evaluation;

(ix) dispensing hearing aids under a false, misleading or deceptive name; or

(x) failing within 30 days or within such time as may otherwise be set by law, to provide information in response to a written request from the board or the attorney general.

(7) has dispensed hearing aids while his ability to do so was impaired by alcohol or drugs;

(8) has violated a lawful order of the board previously entered in a disciplinary hearing.

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